10k and half marathon - can I be ready after injury?

I've been running for about a year, 3-4 times a week since Feb this year.

I have signed up for a 10k in 2 weeks and a half marathon in 6. I started training in early June and over the next 8 weeks built to 30km per week with a 15km long run.

After that I was away with work for 3 weeks and couldn't run, although I did conditioning and stretching. I managed a few runs on my return, building back up to a 15km long run, and then I strained my calves. I had been trying to move to a midfoot strike style, and must have done it too quickly.

I've been stretching, getting massage/physio and foam rolling. I tried cycling, but ended up hurting my previously good calf. So I've now been out for another 3 weeks.

I'm fairly happy I could run the 10k if my calves heal, although they still ache at times. I wonder if I should go for a short jog and see, or wait until there is no pain?

My main worry is the half marathon. Do you think there is time enough left to build up to the distance? I'm guessing I'll have to drop back down to about 10k when I do manage my next run.

thanks for the advice


  • I'd still welcome advice.

    I managed 30 mins on the cross trainer yesterday, thinking of building up to 2 hours over the next couple of weeks to simulate a LSR even if my runs need to be short when I start again.

  • Sounds like you've got a reasonable base so you shouldn't have too much trouble getting round, as long as your calves behave. You've previously done 15k's without too much trouble so another 6k on top of that wouldn't be too much of an issue I wouldn't  have thought.

    Best thing would be to do the 10k and see how you feel after that. As long as the calves feel alright, I'd go for it.

  • Thanks, that sounds very positive. I'm hoping to get a short run in later this week, so fingers crossed they behave.

  • Depends what you hope to achieve in the half marathon. I had a similar problem ahead of this year's Great North Run - training was going well then with 7 weeks to go I was away and then ill and unable to train properly for 3 weeks. When I was able to run again I only had 4 weeks to go, so I focused on just being able to get round. My 'training' consisted of one long and very slow run a weekend (with any short runs in the week being a bonus), starting with a 6.5 mile, then an 8 mile, then 10, and finally an 11 miler the week before the race. I then rested completely for the week leading up to it and I got round very comfortably, albeit with a slow time. If you're chasing a particular goal time or a PB though then it might be different.

  • Thanks for sharing your experiences Nottsgriff. I'm glad you made it round despite problems.

    It's my first half, so I'm being positive and thinking any time will be a PB, to be broken when I'm fully fit next year. The course limit is four hours, so I should make that unless my calves give way.

    I was aiming for a PB on the 10k, but now I'm seeing it as a training run, and a way of testing if I'm fit for the half.

    I'm thinking of following a very similar schedule in terms of the long runs, but also trying to get a couple of short runs midweek too. I just hope I can start it this weekend.

    I guess there's no real need to taper if I've not been running very much anyway?

  • I've been to the phsio today and she says I'm okay to try running again, although only 20 mins at a time at first. I'm switching my 10k next week to the 5k option, and crossing my fingers my calves are ok.

    If so, I'm going to try and go for the half marathon, even if I run/walk it.

  • When is your 1/2? Have you you done it yet? I was training for a 1/2M - it was supposed to be today! image I strained my foot 6 weeks ago and I've only just started running again. Its gutting! Hope you ok now.
  • Sorry to hear that book fairy. I hope you find an alternative race to get excited about.

    I did the 5k today. I took it easy and walked up the hills. My calves were okay, but I'm quite unfit after 2 months with very little running. I think it would be quite difficult to get back to a level where I can comfortably run 4 times todays distance in 4 weeks. I certainly don't think I'd enjoy the race if I did, and I don't want to damage myself again.

    So I've decided to miss on this half, and I've signed up for a 10 mile in Dec and half in Feb instead. That should give me the time to get the fitness back without damage.


  • Very wise, I'm in the same boat - my half was in prep for a spring marathon (Brighton). So I decided to ditch the 1/2 and just XT and row in the gym instead. I must say that having just started running again, I definitely seem to have maintained more fitness than if I'd rested completely - I can still run for 20 mins straight off without much effort. A huge relief! The loss of fitness when you have built it up over months of hard work is soooo demoralising! But you're right, it's not worth risking injury again - I'm now doing one day on one day off running, and still using the gym in between. Once I'm sure I can continue the running (i'm still listening out for every twinge at the mo!), I'll look around for a few races. Which ones are you doing?
  • Ps. I was running for two hours as my long run before I got injured, but the longest I've managed to survive on the cross trainer is an hour so far, I just lose the will to live after that! Let me know if you discover any gym survival techniques!
  • I'm doing a 10 mile in Stockport and a half in Blackpool - all being well.

    It sounds like you're progressing well. I know what you mean about listening out for twinges though.

    Gym work can be dull. I try not to spend more than 20 mins on the same machine, partly because my physio advised this. Otherwise, for a long gentle session, a friend to chat to or good book help. I have this plastic thing to hold a book open whilst I'm on the xross trainer, and it's easy on abike. Or choose a time when something you like is on the TV.

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